This study investigated 341 pre-service elementary teachers' motives to become a teacher using Factors Influencing Teaching Choice (FIT-Choice) theory as a basis. It then investigated how these motivations change as candidates follow their training and these motivations' relationship with teaching self-efficacy. The results suggests that Altruistic motives (make social contribution, shape future of children and enhance social equity) were the most influential followed by prior teaching and learning experiences, work with children/adolescents, and job security. Intrinsic motives (perceived teaching ability and intrinsic career value) came next. ANOVA results suggest that the motivations for choosing this profession remain stable between Freshman, Sophomore and Junior candidates. Teaching self-efficacy was positively related to intrinsic motives and negatively related to "fallback career" motives of elementary teacher candidates. Implications of the results are further discussed. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.